German Navy's Aircraft Carrier

German Kriegsmarine 1935-1945.

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Postby Tiornu » Mon Nov 20, 2006 4:28 pm

I agree, and I'll point out another advantage for the trawler--it's designed to stay afloat in open waters, something we can't guarantee for the barges in Channel waters.
Here's another of my oh-so-wry questions. How high does a U-boat mount its rangefinder?
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French CV's

Postby Andy H » Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:53 am

Would the completion of the French proposed CV's been faster than the Graf, leaving aside the steel battles within the KM?

Not sure if these ongoing constructions were mentioned within the Armistace terms.

Aircraft carriers:
In 1939/1940 there were already the "Bearn" aircraft carrier and the "Commandant Teste" seaplane carrier but they were obsolete. Concerning the carrier capable aircrafts, the Loire Nieuport LN.411 and the Vought V.156F (dive bombers and torpedo aircrafts) from the French fleet air arm were available.
Two new aircraft carriers for the navy should have been available in 1941-1942 ("Joffre" and "Painlevé") :
• 18,000t
• 236m long
• 34m wide
• Speed 33 knots
• Embarking 40 aircrafts (15 fighters and 25 attack aircrafts)
• Armament : 8x 130mm AA guns, 8x 37mm AA guns, 28x 13.2mm AAMGs
• Crew : 70 officers, 1180 NCOs and men

The "Joffre" construction started in March 1940 but reached only 20% before the armistice. The "Painlevé" was never started.
The aircrafts intended for these new aircraft carriers were :
• Fighters :
--o Dewoitine D.790 (navalized version of the Dewoitine D.520)
• Several twin-engined attack aircrafts (which is new on an aircraft carrier at the moment) :
--o CAO 600 (Constructions Aéronautiques de l’Ouest) (380 km/h)
--o Dewoitine D.750 (360 km/h)
--o Bréguet 810 (derived from the Bréguet 693 attack aircraft)
• Other single engined attack aircrafts :
--o Latécoère 299 (350 km/h) (derived from the Latécoère 298 seaplane)


From a post by David Lehmann, over at Axis History Forum

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Postby phylo_roadking » Mon Nov 27, 2006 1:32 pm

Tironu - unfortunately the major part of Harry tate's navy were VERY old, wormy, rusted-out and decrepit. And they were - for escort duty, forced further away from the waters they were intended for. Its reckoned that of the posted losses, 60% were due to "structural failure". We're not talking modern ocean-going trawlers here LOL

Painleve? An HMS (or whatever) YEAST? LOL

Mind you a compliment of the new lightweight D520 variants would have given the French a MAJOR edge in naval fighter capability at eactly that point in time in the West.
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Postby Andy H » Mon Nov 27, 2006 2:05 pm

phylo_roadking wrote:Tironu - unfortunately the major part of Harry tate's navy were VERY old, wormy, rusted-out and decrepit. And they were - for escort duty, forced further away from the waters they were intended for. Its reckoned that of the posted losses, 60% were due to "structural failure". We're not talking modern ocean-going trawlers here LOL


Though your remarks in part maybe correct in there over-extension during escort work, British shipyards turned out numerous new trawlers etc in the years prior to the war and during the first couple. Also this question arose as to how many would be around to counter Seelowe. Though the waters can be rough were not talking mid Atlantic along the south coast, miles from a port/harbour etc

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Postby Paul Lakowski » Mon Nov 27, 2006 7:53 pm

The barges were much more survivable than many would have us believe. Peter Schenk's book on the German plans and efforts around Sealion “Invasion of England 1940” was translated in 1990 and makes the following observation.

All barges had to meet following naval requirements…

Able to handle open water up to sea state 2 [Significant wave height of 1.4 feet or 0.4 meters], which was the basic English channel sea state.
Able to land on beaches with slope of 1 degree
Able to transport a 25 ton tank
Able to use all Dutch Belgian and French canals.

However the barges exceeded these figures , here’s a quote from Schenk “Invasion of England 1940” Translated 1990, pp 70


"For the first criteria it was calculated that the barges would need a freeboard of at least 2 m and would have to be in a good state of repair. As it turned out , the barges were more seaworthy than expected, shipping little water during exercise in winds of force 4 to 5 and coping well with waves. Even at wind forces of 6 to 8 only two barges reported damage to external bow doors during one exercise with the 17th Infantry Division."



Force 4 winds are 20-30kph and 1 meter waves, while Force 5 is 30-40kph winds and 2 meter waves. Force 6-8 gale force winds are 60-75kph and waves of 3-5meters. Storm studies from the channel show waves topping 2 meters, but such storms happen once per month in the spring and fall and twice a month in the winter. They are all exceedingly rare in the summer months and rarely last more than 4 days duration. At most this is one storm day out of every 6, suggesting such storms would only impose a delay on landings by several days.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaufort_scale

Schenk notes there were 1336 x type A1 "Péniche" barges @ 39 meters long 5 m ; wide & 2.3m high , with a capacity of 360 tonnes. In addition there were 982 larger "Kampinen" type A2 barges @ 50 meters long 6.6m wide & 2.5m high and a capacity of 620 tonnes [able to carry 4 tanks] .

Most barges were towed and about ~ 1/3 of these barges were already motorized with 6-7 knts speed, however it was reckoned that in some cases 30% of the barges were so old and worn as to be unusable, while the rest were damaged due to untrained crews. If this is applied across the board the 2400 barges would net 1600 usable barges of which maybe ¼ were motorized.

The historical conversion task was massive and between August and early September 2400 barges and 400 motorboats were assemble. By early September about 1269 barges were converted and by September 24th about 1552 converted towed landing barges had arrived at the embarkation points, including another ~ 330 in reserve. When the task was completed some months later the total had swollen to 1939 converted landing barges.
[P Schenk “Invasion of England 1940” , pp 65-114].

By early September at least 225 motorized landing barges had been acquired , while power units were added to another 25 towed barges. In October the Heer and Luftwaffe erected another 50-100 engineering rafts , each employing 2-3 surplus 500-750hp engines from a total of 2000 such surplus engines. These modified Sieble/Herbert Rafts could cruise across the channel at ~ 6knts and dash to the shore at ~ 10knts. Contrary to perception they apparently were quite seaworthy in coastal waters and ‘the channel’.
[P Schenk “Invasion of England 1940” , pp 115-129].

The ~ 800 remaining unconverted barges were instead modified into supply barges and employed to warehouse fuel oil , diesel & gasoline as well as water and other supplies. Most of these barges were powered barges that had ‘broken down’ and treated as towed barges. Their total load capacity was around 225,000 tons while the gross transport tankerage was 130,000 tons in 39 tankers and 75 ‘lighters/barges’ . The expected daily consumption was thought to be about 10-12,000 tons at full strength, so on at most only 1/10th of the tankers [ 4 tankers and 7 lighters] had to cross the channel each day to feed the two armies logistical needs. [ “The Invasion of England 1940” , Peter Schenk, pp 174-175].

The barge sortie rate only envisaged the use of 2/3 of the barges on the first sortie, while a mere 400 barges were needed for each of the following 7 sorties to sustain the offensive and transport follow on waves. Since turnaround time was at best 4 days, at most 100 barges would need to make the crossing each day to sustain campaign at full strength.[ “The Invasion of England 1940” , Peter Schenk, pp 232-235].


In practice Wehrmacht logistics through out the war , were never run at full strength or anything like capacity. This rarely slowed offensives since combat doctrine and tactics were more important. While lack of logistics did crimp operations and slow tempo, it didn’t prevent operations even when the delivery rate fell below 50% of capacity, as was the case when the Germans moved further and further into Russia in 1941. It was always a combination of effects that terminated campaigns against the Germans, only part of which was logistics.


50 Naval gun ships
http://www.nzcoastalshipping.com/dutchcoasters.html
Its reported roughly 100 “Coaster” vessels were also employed in the Sea lion plan. Coasters were miniature freighters of 100-400 tons able to haul large loads from small coastal ports to larger ports for mass shipment overseas on larger Freighters. They have limited range and facilities but large cargo space and hoist. Plan was to convert ~ 50 coasters each with a pair of light flak guns and to mount one 6” gun on each of twenty heavier coasters , while three 3” gun were to be mounted on each of 27 smaller coasters.

These boats had sand added to ballasts to increase stability and provide limited below water protection . In addition concrete was added to the wheelhouse and each gun mount had thin armored shield . This provided small arms resistance and splinter protection all round. In addition each ship was degaussed against magnetic mines.

Historically only 5 of 20 heavy 6” gun coasters were converted and 27 lighter 3” gun coasters were converted. But another 200 guns/howitzers were made available for usage on such improvised gun ships. Although the ships were quite small they had high free boards allowing operations in ‘sea state 6’ or 3-4m waves and 40-50kph winds. [P Schenk “Invasion of England 1940” , pp 46-48].

Pioniersturmboot 39
It was planned to convert and deploy hundreds of fishing boats to land assault troops with each wave. The plan was to mount them on ramps on either side of the hundreds of fishing boats, Trawlers ,Coasters and Minesweepers. These boats were able to haul a 50-75 troops plus light arms and deploy them ashore @ 25kph [15knts] through a pair of assault boats launched and deposit and recovered through ramps mounted on the side of the boat. It was shown through trial and error that these fishing boats could launch the assault boats quite well traveling at ½ speed [IE 5-6 knts]. The assault boats were the Pioniersturmboot 39 , of which about 500 out of planned 1500 had been delivered in time for Sealion. By December about 800 had been assembles for this task, when the effort was halted.

[P Schenk “Invasion of England 1940” , pp 48-58].

Each invasion group had a leader boat 10knts speed, plus two tugs to tow one powered and one un powered barge. At a prearranged point the barges would be detached and the powered barge would tow the un powered barge into shore. Most barges had a light flak gun mounted amid ship , although hundreds mounted either 3" howitzers or Pak guns. While useless at hitting ships [3 near misses on 100 test shots @ 600-1000m range], they were thought to be very important in contributing fire support to landing troops, while vulnerable on the beaches.

While the build up was rushed massive and impressive one is left with the impression that given enough time the cross channel invasion would certainly have worked. There is clear evidence that the Germans had been experimenting with amphibious assaults since 1925 and plans for such an invasion of UK had been in the works since 1938 ...but Hitler would hear nothing of these developments due to his believe in England as an ally.

Finally the plan didn't envisage the need to attain air supremacy over England prior to any invasion as is commonly reported, instead all that was required was air superiority over the channel, which was achieved in September 1940. [P Schenk “Invasion of England 1940” , pp 246].At the end of the day the decision to go or not to go rested with Hitler himself and he could not throw his belief that the Brits would cave with draw from the war and allow him free hand in the east. He played each service branch off against each other since it served his purpose to put the pressure on the UK to fold. Schenk notes the following in conclusion pp 357-358.

"If conditions had been right , the German air superiority over southern England should have sufficed for a German landing operation. However, Germany had still hoped to bomb Britain into submission,".....

"In the autumn of 1940 the navy had the chance to end the conflict with Britain with one lightning combined arms operation. While it was able to amass a hugh transport fleet in a Herculean effort , the navy considered it impossible to protect. Ansel contradicts this notion, regarding it conceivable that a British attack on the fleet could have been thwarted given sufficient measures on the part of the navy and Luftwaffe. if all the factors are taken into consideration-Luftwaffe attacks on the Royal navy, mine barriers , coastal artillery and the deployment of the German navy in its entirety- then Ansel could be right. Sealion was cancelled primarily for political and not military reasons".
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Postby Paul Lakowski » Mon Nov 27, 2006 7:54 pm

The barges were much more survivable than many would have us believe. Peter Schenk's book on the German plans and efforts around Sealion “Invasion of England 1940” was translated in 1990 and makes the following observation.

All barges had to meet following naval requirements…

Able to handle open water up to sea state 2 [Significant wave height of 1.4 feet or 0.4 meters], which was the basic English channel sea state.
Able to land on beaches with slope of 1 degree
Able to transport a 25 ton tank
Able to use all Dutch Belgian and French canals.

However the barges exceeded these figures , here’s a quote from Schenk “Invasion of England 1940” Translated 1990, pp 70


"For the first criteria it was calculated that the barges would need a freeboard of at least 2 m and would have to be in a good state of repair. As it turned out , the barges were more seaworthy than expected, shipping little water during exercise in winds of force 4 to 5 and coping well with waves. Even at wind forces of 6 to 8 only two barges reported damage to external bow doors during one exercise with the 17th Infantry Division."



Force 4 winds are 20-30kph and 1 meter waves, while Force 5 is 30-40kph winds and 2 meter waves. Force 6-8 gale force winds are 60-75kph and waves of 3-5meters. Storm studies from the channel show waves topping 2 meters, but such storms happen once per month in the spring and fall and twice a month in the winter. They are all exceedingly rare in the summer months and rarely last more than 4 days duration. At most this is one storm day out of every 6, suggesting such storms would only impose a delay on landings by several days.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaufort_scale

Schenk notes there were 1336 x type A1 "Péniche" barges @ 39 meters long 5 m ; wide & 2.3m high , with a capacity of 360 tonnes. In addition there were 982 larger "Kampinen" type A2 barges @ 50 meters long 6.6m wide & 2.5m high and a capacity of 620 tonnes [able to carry 4 tanks] .

Most barges were towed and about ~ 1/3 of these barges were already motorized with 6-7 knts speed, however it was reckoned that in some cases 30% of the barges were so old and worn as to be unusable, while the rest were damaged due to untrained crews. If this is applied across the board the 2400 barges would net 1600 usable barges of which maybe ¼ were motorized.

The historical conversion task was massive and between August and early September 2400 barges and 400 motorboats were assemble. By early September about 1269 barges were converted and by September 24th about 1552 converted towed landing barges had arrived at the embarkation points, including another ~ 330 in reserve. When the task was completed some months later the total had swollen to 1939 converted landing barges.
[P Schenk “Invasion of England 1940” , pp 65-114].

By early September at least 225 motorized landing barges had been acquired , while power units were added to another 25 towed barges. In October the Heer and Luftwaffe erected another 50-100 engineering rafts , each employing 2-3 surplus 500-750hp engines from a total of 2000 such surplus engines. These modified Sieble/Herbert Rafts could cruise across the channel at ~ 6knts and dash to the shore at ~ 10knts. Contrary to perception they apparently were quite seaworthy in coastal waters and ‘the channel’.
[P Schenk “Invasion of England 1940” , pp 115-129].

The ~ 800 remaining unconverted barges were instead modified into supply barges and employed to warehouse fuel oil , diesel & gasoline as well as water and other supplies. Most of these barges were powered barges that had ‘broken down’ and treated as towed barges. Their total load capacity was around 225,000 tons while the gross transport tankerage was 130,000 tons in 39 tankers and 75 ‘lighters/barges’ . The expected daily consumption was thought to be about 10-12,000 tons at full strength, so on at most only 1/10th of the tankers [ 4 tankers and 7 lighters] had to cross the channel each day to feed the two armies logistical needs. [ “The Invasion of England 1940” , Peter Schenk, pp 174-175].

The barge sortie rate only envisaged the use of 2/3 of the barges on the first sortie, while a mere 400 barges were needed for each of the following 7 sorties to sustain the offensive and transport follow on waves. Since turnaround time was at best 4 days, at most 100 barges would need to make the crossing each day to sustain campaign at full strength.[ “The Invasion of England 1940” , Peter Schenk, pp 232-235].


In practice Wehrmacht logistics through out the war , were never run at full strength or anything like capacity. This rarely slowed offensives since combat doctrine and tactics were more important. While lack of logistics did crimp operations and slow tempo, it didn’t prevent operations even when the delivery rate fell below 50% of capacity, as was the case when the Germans moved further and further into Russia in 1941. It was always a combination of effects that terminated campaigns against the Germans, only part of which was logistics.


50 Naval gun ships
http://www.nzcoastalshipping.com/dutchcoasters.html
Its reported roughly 100 “Coaster” vessels were also employed in the Sea lion plan. Coasters were miniature freighters of 100-400 tons able to haul large loads from small coastal ports to larger ports for mass shipment overseas on larger Freighters. They have limited range and facilities but large cargo space and hoist. Plan was to convert ~ 50 coasters each with a pair of light flak guns and to mount one 6” gun on each of twenty heavier coasters , while three 3” gun were to be mounted on each of 27 smaller coasters.

These boats had sand added to ballasts to increase stability and provide limited below water protection . In addition concrete was added to the wheelhouse and each gun mount had thin armored shield . This provided small arms resistance and splinter protection all round. In addition each ship was degaussed against magnetic mines.

Historically only 5 of 20 heavy 6” gun coasters were converted and 27 lighter 3” gun coasters were converted. But another 200 guns/howitzers were made available for usage on such improvised gun ships. Although the ships were quite small they had high free boards allowing operations in ‘sea state 6’ or 3-4m waves and 40-50kph winds. [P Schenk “Invasion of England 1940” , pp 46-48].

Pioniersturmboot 39
It was planned to convert and deploy hundreds of fishing boats to land assault troops with each wave. The plan was to mount them on ramps on either side of the hundreds of fishing boats, Trawlers ,Coasters and Minesweepers. These boats were able to haul a 50-75 troops plus light arms and deploy them ashore @ 25kph [15knts] through a pair of assault boats launched and deposit and recovered through ramps mounted on the side of the boat. It was shown through trial and error that these fishing boats could launch the assault boats quite well traveling at ½ speed [IE 5-6 knts]. The assault boats were the Pioniersturmboot 39 , of which about 500 out of planned 1500 had been delivered in time for Sealion. By December about 800 had been assembles for this task, when the effort was halted.

[P Schenk “Invasion of England 1940” , pp 48-58].

Each invasion group had a leader boat 10knts speed, plus two tugs to tow one powered and one un powered barge. At a prearranged point the barges would be detached and the powered barge would tow the un powered barge into shore. Most barges had a light flak gun mounted amid ship , although hundreds mounted either 3" howitzers or Pak guns. While useless at hitting ships [3 near misses on 100 test shots @ 600-1000m range], they were thought to be very important in contributing fire support to landing troops, while vulnerable on the beaches.

While the build up was rushed massive and impressive one is left with the impression that given enough time the cross channel invasion would certainly have worked. There is clear evidence that the Germans had been experimenting with amphibious assaults since 1925 and plans for such an invasion of UK had been in the works since 1938 ...but Hitler would hear nothing of these developments due to his believe in England as an ally.

Finally the plan didn't envisage the need to attain air supremacy over England prior to any invasion as is commonly reported, instead all that was required was air superiority over the channel, which was achieved in September 1940. [P Schenk “Invasion of England 1940” , pp 246].At the end of the day the decision to go or not to go rested with Hitler himself and he could not throw his belief that the Brits would cave with draw from the war and allow him free hand in the east. He played each service branch off against each other since it served his purpose to put the pressure on the UK to fold. Schenk notes the following in conclusion pp 357-358.

"If conditions had been right , the German air superiority over southern England should have sufficed for a German landing operation. However, Germany had still hoped to bomb Britain into submission,".....

"In the autumn of 1940 the navy had the chance to end the conflict with Britain with one lightning combined arms operation. While it was able to amass a hugh transport fleet in a Herculean effort , the navy considered it impossible to protect. Ansel contradicts this notion, regarding it conceivable that a British attack on the fleet could have been thwarted given sufficient measures on the part of the navy and Luftwaffe. if all the factors are taken into consideration-Luftwaffe attacks on the Royal navy, mine barriers , coastal artillery and the deployment of the German navy in its entirety- then Ansel could be right. Sealion was cancelled primarily for political and not military reasons".
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Postby Andy H » Mon Nov 27, 2006 8:17 pm

Hi Paul

As ever you've posted some very interesting information.

They are all exceedingly rare in the summer months and rarely last more than 4 days duration. At most this is one storm day out of every 6, suggesting such storms would only impose a delay on landings by several days.


Like in June 1944 :wink: and what if like in 1944, the storm hit once the invasion was under way? a German defeat no doubt.

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Postby Tiornu » Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:34 am

Schenk is generally respected, though it is understood that his exuberance over German plans reduced his ability to differentiate between the intended and the real--a failure routinely reproduced here. For example, he depicts the 90deg turn needed in the final approach for the lines of landing craft without noting "how extremely improbable" it would be for such a maneuver to succeed. The Schleppzüge string (tug, motor barge, dumb barge) necesitated leaving the barges aground between high tides. No problem.
For a useful post-Schenk treatment of the general subject of a German invasion as well as a specific look at the absurdity of the barge planning, see "A British Plan to Invade England, 1941" by John P. Campbell in The Journal of Military History, Vol. 58, No. 4, Oct. 1994. [source of the "improbable" quote above]
But nothing can put a steak in the heart of optimism that a German invasion could have worked. The 1973 gaming of Sealion deliberately skewed things in Germany's favor, but the assault's failure was obvious in short order.
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Postby Troy Tempest » Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:46 am

Hi Tiornu, what gaming of Sealöwe in 1979 are you talking about? Have you read Invasion: The Alternate History of the German Invasion of England, July 1940 by Kenneth Macksey ('80) at all?

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Postby phylo_roadking » Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:05 am

Andy, the term "numerous" shouldn't be exaggerated, the big new double-skinned Spanish fisheries boats with onboard ice plants I think only totalled either 16 or 18 in number. The rest were VERY vulnerable to air attack, as history showed in their escort and coastal patrol work, where for 18 months-2 years they carried out duties replacing the sloops the RN had lost off Dunkirk. Also, we have to remember ONE other factor as to their practicality - thier armament! There was a GREAT shortage of suitable weaponry, as the vast majority of the ships commandeered didn't have strong enough decks for guns, nor the seaworthiness once strengthened - fishing boats are little round empty barrels just waiting to be filled with nice juicy cargo - a deck gun made them VERY top heavy. Some were armed with old WWI ordnance of course, as many as could take it, but the majority were pure "patrol" boats, with nothing more than Lewis guns and the like.
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Postby sid guttridge » Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:51 am

Hi Guys,

If I remember rightly, an earlier late 1960's wargaming of Sealion between ex-wartime British and German army, navy and air force officers (including Adolf Galland, I think) came to the conclusion that making a landing was feasible, but that once it had been made it would be impossible to sustain or follow up if the Royal Navy acted with full force in the Channel, notwithstanding German air superiority.

Cheers,

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Postby Tiornu » Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:22 pm

The 1973 wargame sponsored by the Dept of War Studies at Sundhurst and the Daily Telegraph depicted an invasion of 22 Sept 1940. The second wave scheduled for 24 Sept was canceled and turned into an evacuation effort. The six judges unanimously agreed on the outcome--yes, this included Galland and VAdm Friedrich Ruge.
Small craft like trawlers and barges are vulnerable to air attack, as are tugs and the craft they are tugging.
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Postby Tiornu » Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:23 pm

Sorry, that's Sandhurst.
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Postby Andy H » Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:31 pm

phylo_roadking wrote:Andy, the term "numerous" shouldn't be exaggerated, the big new double-skinned Spanish fisheries boats with onboard ice plants I think only totalled either 16 or 18 in number. The rest were VERY vulnerable to air attack, as history showed in their escort and coastal patrol work, where for 18 months-2 years they carried out duties replacing the sloops the RN had lost off Dunkirk. Also, we have to remember ONE other factor as to their practicality - thier armament! There was a GREAT shortage of suitable weaponry, as the vast majority of the ships commandeered didn't have strong enough decks for guns, nor the seaworthiness once strengthened - fishing boats are little round empty barrels just waiting to be filled with nice juicy cargo - a deck gun made them VERY top heavy. Some were armed with old WWI ordnance of course, as many as could take it, but the majority were pure "patrol" boats, with nothing more than Lewis guns and the like.


Hi Phylo

I was using the word numerous in relation to the numbers of trawlers, sloops etc that formed the Aux Patrol. You may well be correct concerning the specific double skinned trawlers. The armament was patchy in effectiveness but its still armament and something equally laid at the door (or should I say ramps) of the barges etc.

Again when talking about Seelowe, the pro German lobby have the LW everywhere 24/7, sinking everything 1st time and with no misses.

They dismiss the actually geography of the invasion having any meaning, but the tides, currents, sandbanks etc demanded high levels of semanship even in daylight and in peacetime, let alone nightime and during war. The Aux patrol wouldn't have stopped anything on its own, but as part of a greater plan its role was important.

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Postby phylo_roadking » Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:26 pm

I agree the Luftwaffe wouldn't be everywhere :-) certainly not OVER the Channel because it would be busy trying to interdict the airspace directly over the beachhead. However, The role of the RAF WOULD have been very diminished by this point - and it would be a toss-up on the day whether it was told to concentrate its attention on the beachhead or the channel.

I certainly don't believe the LW needed total air superiority, but they DID need to interdict the airspace - by matching and keeping the remaining RAF strength occupied. Don't forget, by September 1940, apart from the medium bomber strength lost in france and the Army Cooperation squadrons, Bomber Command was relatively untouched by major loss, so would have been sortie-ing by day and night. So you would have had an air battle at many levels :-

fighter against fighter over the land
fighter against fighter over the Channel
LW fighters against Bomber Command
LW bombers - Stukas and twin-engined tactical - in support of the bridgehead
LW bombers against the RN
RAF fighters against LW bombers everywhere!

Given all THESE responsibilities to cover, after the first few weeks of a shortened Battle Of Britain, both sides would have had to tighten their belts and prioritise. Somewhere, either the bridgehead or the invasion fleet, the Germans would have come off lighter than elsewhere...

Regarding the Auxiliaries - the average invasion barge might have been more heavily armed!!! A couple of puking sections of seasick infantry would still have more automatic weapons between them than an aged Lewis or Vickers or two LOL
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